Templegate runs you through the contenders for the King George at Ascot and gives you his verdict on the Group 1 contest
GO Hobb-nobbing for Ascot’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
JACK HOBBS has won three of his four completed races over 1m4f. He was runner-up in the Derby to Golden Horn in the other and the recent rain has tipped the balance in his favour.
If the forecast overnight rain arrives it won’t suit Highland Reel and Ulysses. Dual Oaks winner Enable has looked really smart but this is her acid test.
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Desert Encounter 2/5
NO close Encounter. Personal best when third behind Ulysses in the Coral-Eclipse. Longer trip and softer ground no problem but enough to find just to reverse Sandown form.
Highland Reel 4/5
THE Reel deal. Has bagged the most prize money of any European horse. His Royal Ascot win was a cracking effort but softer ground is a big worry. If the rain arrives his chance disappears.
HO no. Came good in the Group 2 Hardwicke at Royal Ascot. Needs to improve on that win and has stacks to find with stablemate Highland Reel on their Coronation Cup form in June.
Jack Hobbs 5/5
JACK’S the lad. Runner-up to Golden Horn in the 2015 Derby and winner of the Irish version. Third in the last two Champions’ Stakes but better over today’s 1m4f.
Found the ground too firm last time and has plenty in his favour today.
Maverick Wave 1/5
WAVE goodbye. Not won for two years in mainly much weaker races. Likely to set the pace.
My Dream Boat 3/5
BOAT won’t sink. Loves soft ground and his Royal Ascot defeat of Arc heroine Found last year is top form. Solid efforts this year. Each-way chances increase with every drop of rain.
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IN full Bloom. Improved this year. Narrow Coral-Eclipse win came over 1m2f but has won over today’s trip. Seems to thrive on fast ground and he needs to prove he’s as good on a softer surface.
Sixties Song 2/5
OUT of tune. South American champion. Seemed to just win the dash for the line in Chile’s big race and it’s hard to see this Argentina raider turning over the cream of Europe.
NO ball for Bat. Ran Permian close in the Dante and not beaten far when fifth in the Derby. Needs to improve on his Royal Ascot Group 3 success but that’s not impossible.
READY and Able. Star filly looked top-drawer when winning the Oaks by five lengths. Cruised home by a similar margin in the Irish version but takes on colts and older horses today.
Video courtesy of QIPCO British Champions Series